Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On the Home Front: With Support Like This ...

“I am always a little amazed at the response that people get when they hear from Barack,” [Barack Obama's wife, Michelle,] told the crowd at the Beverly Hilton, as her husband stood by looking like a puppy being scolded, reported Hud Morgan of Men’s Vogue. “A great man, a wonderful man. But still a man. ... (Maureen Dowd in The NYT).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Walking Down the Aisle

For many guests a wedding is less a joy than an ordeal, something to get through, like PBS pledge drives or Lyme disease. (Alessandra Stanley in The NYT).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Manny Being Manny the Prophet

In 1999, after [Manny Ramirez] established himself as a superstar with the Cleveland Indians, written messages began appearing on the backs of his cleats, like admonitions from a prophet: “There will be hell to pay”; “Justice will be served”; “Can’t we all get along?”; “Live and let die.” (Ben McGrath in The New Yorker).

The local obsession with the Red Sox is such that David Wells, the former Yankee and Red Sox pitcher, and a night owl, likes to call Boston Picturetown, rather than Beantown, because of all the fans with cell-phone cameras in restaurants and bars, ready for deployment like civilian paparazzi. (McGrath).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dr. Dahl to Surgery, Stat

... [Roald] Dahl is of that select society of Saki (the pen name of H.H. Munro), Evelyn Waugh, Muriel Spark, and Iris Murdoch, satiric moralists who wield the English language like a surgical instrument to flay, dissect, and expose human folly. (Joyce Carol Oates in The New York Review of Books on Dahl's "Collected Stories").

Dahl's females are particularly grotesque specimens, like Mrs. Ponsonby of "Nunc Dimittis" who is "so incredibly short and squat and stiff, [she looked as if] she had no legs at all above the knees," has a "salmon mouth" and fingers "like a bunch of small white snakes wriggling in her lap." (Oates ... and Dahl).

And from Dahl ...

I was able to take most of it in—the metallic silver-blue hair with every strand glued into place, the brown pig-eyes, the long sharp nose sniffing for trouble, the curled lips, the prognathous jaw, the powder, the mascara, the scarlet lipstick and, most shattering of all, the massive shored-up bosom that projected like a balcony in front of her.

More from Dahl ...

When she marched—Miss Trunchbull never walked, she always marched like a storm-trooper with long strides and arms aswinging—when she marched along a corridor you could actually hear her snorting as she went, and if a group of children happened to be in her path, she ploughed through them like a tank, with small people bouncing off her to left and right.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Earth Day, Rush Style

Rush Limbaugh, he's got the life. His days flick through the slot like postcards from paradise. (James Wolcott on Rush Limbaugh in Vanity Fair).

He appears to think that if there were true global warming the earth would crisp evenly like a baked apple. (Wolcott).

Valiant efforts have been made to correct the mistakes, half-truths, exaggerations, and confusions that Limbaugh coughs up like furballs during his preachings. (Wolcott).

Try to Keep Down the Popcorn

In any case, this dawn-of-the-dead fantasia is gleefully disgusting: flesh melts, bodies explode like packages of liquid squeezed too hard, testicles roll around on the ground like spilled Brussels sprouts. (David Denby's "Grindhouse" review in The New Yorker).

And ...

When Cherry loses a leg to the ghouls, her old lover (Freddy Rodriguez, who’s a pocket-size dynamo) outfits her with a machine gun for a stump; she raises it like a dog taking a pee and blows away anyone within fifty yards. (Denby).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shocked ... Just Shocked

Like the piano player in the brothel, Imus's notables seem shocked that anyone would associate them with what goes on upstairs. (John Leo in The Wall Street Journal).

And ...

Jeff Greenfield once said that appearing on Imus is like being an important novelist excerpted in Playboy. You wish to be judged by your brilliant writing, not your proximity to the centerfold mammaries. (Leo).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Find at the Dump

His briefcase sat beside the table like something yanked out of a landfill. (Don DeLillo in The New Yorker).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Kid, Get Me Rewrite

Caroline’s sense that her story is being written as she lives it becomes an analogue of the old problem of predestination versus free will, and the click-clack of the typewriter becomes the pulse of fate, like the ticking of a clock or the pounding of Poe’s tell-tale heart. (The New Yorker).